When it comes to choosing the best juicer to buy, your choice will primarily depend on what kind of juicer you need. Should you buy a centrifugal, masticating or triturating juicer, or simply a citrus juicer? Read on to know the difference between these types of juicers so you can have an informed choice.
How do juicers work?
Regardless of the type and mechanism of the juicer, all juicers have one main job: to extract juice from fruits and vegetables by crushing, squeezing or shredding them against a mesh filter. This separates the pulp from the liquid content, which is the juice. Juicers have a separate pulp collector in which pulp, fibers and skins are deposited for disposal later. A juicer only extracts the juice, which contains the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients your produce has.
Juicers are one of the primary kitchen equipment you would want to invest in if you are embarking on a raw food diet (because you will want variety since you are limiting yourself to eating more raw), a vegan or vegetarian diet (because of variety too, and because juicing is especially recommended for vegetables), and other health-focused diets that would require you to consume more raw fruits and vegetables.
Factors to consider when buying a juicer
Knowing what you want from a juicer will help you narrow down your options so you can choose the one that’s best for you.
This is one of the important factors when buying a juicer (and literally anything). Juicers differ so vastly in prices, as some can stay as low as $30 and some can cost more than $400. Centrifugal juicers usually cost the cheapest, while the triturating or twin-gear juicers are the most expensive – the best ones cost around half a grand.
Higher-end models can provide great yield and good performance and are more likely to keep the most nutrients intact. However, there are also more affordable options with comparable performance and are also good enough for your personal needs.
Even if you can afford a high-end machine – and because you want to get serious in juicing for better health – don’t splurge just yet unless you know for sure how you’re going to make use of it. Meanwhile, if you’re a budget shopper, avoid the temptation to buy really cheap. You will have to outweigh the risk because cheaper products are more likely to break prematurely. Let’s say you buy a $40 juicer over a $120 juicer and it broke after the warranty, then you’ll have to factor in the cost of a new part or a new machine. If you buy a quality model from a reputable brand, you’ll have more peace of mind that your device will last for several years.
Before buying, research on the typical price of juicers. Set a budget and choose from those in your price range. Check reviews because there are a lot of users who are willing to write great (or bad) feedback to describe their experience with the juicer. So even if the price is okay for you, be wary if the product has more bad reviews than good ones.
2. Time you are willing to spend on juicing
A juicer can make you fresh juice in a few seconds, but still, juicing will definitely take some of your time. When you decide to use a juicer, you are going to do these things:
- You will do some shopping for fresh produce at least once a week.
- You need to wash and peel the produce. Some needs to be chopped, cored, peeled and deseeded. For some juicers that can handle whole produce, it’s still best to peel them and chop them in pieces so as not to make your juicer work so hard (and this will mean less things to clean up).
- You will spend a few minutes during the juicing process.
- You will have to clean up your counter, wash the juicer parts and brush the disc.
In short, juicing still needs food preparation and clean-up. If you have a tight schedule and you only use the juicer in the morning before you go to work, then a fast juicer may be best for you. This kind of juicer has a large feeding chute so you don’t have to chop things beforehand, and it has fewer parts to clean. A juice that is made fast can compromise the nutritional value of the produce because of oxidation, but it’s fine if you want to actually commit to juicing despite your busy schedule.
If you’re a serious raw foodie who wants a machine that will bring the best cold-pressed juice and have some extra time, you may want to go with a masticating or a triturating juicer. They offer a better quality juice than centrifugal juicers. And the juices they make can last for a day or two (even three), which means you can simply store the excess juice so you can drink it tomorrow. However, they require produce to be pre-cut, they take more time to make the juice, and they are slightly more difficult to clean. If you plan to juice everyday, they can be time-consuming.
The choice all comes down to whether or not you’ll actually commit to juicing. For best results, choose the juicer that you would be excited to use.
3. Cleaning time
Most often, the most time-consuming step during juicing is cleaning. Pretty much all juicers are a pain to clean, especially the twin-gear juicers that have more parts. A horizontal auger will be easier to clean because it has fewer parts.
If simpler cleanup is a priority for you, then check if the pieces of the juicers are dishwasher-friendly. The best juicers when it comes to cleanup is the ones whose removable parts are all dishwasher-safe. This way, you don’t have to clean them up with your hands, especially the blades that must be handled with extra care to prevent injury. But make sure that you have to scrub the strainer clean before putting it in a dishwasher.
Some juicers also come with a cleaning brush, and it makes a world of difference.
4. What you want to juice
The type of produce you plan to juice must also be your deciding factor in choosing a juicer. If you’re planning to juice only hard, thick and fleshy fruits and vegetables, then a centrifugal juicer would be enough. You can use it to juice carrots, sweet potatoes, pear, apple, watermelon, cucumber and more.
But if you need to juice more leafy greens like spinach and kale, then you will need a masticating or a triturating juicer. Centrifugal machines can still juice soft leaves, but their blades can’t make the most out of them. These more advanced juicers are also more efficient when juicing roots like beets or ginger.
If you want to juice wheatgrass, then you will need a masticating and preferably, a triturating juicer. A centrifugal juicer will be useless with wheatgrass.
Also, if you want to do more than juicing, you may prefer a masticating or a triturating juicer. Some of these machines are available with helpful attachments (or compatible attachments that can bought separately) to make them work as a food processor. With the help of these accessories, a masticating or triturating juicer can create noodles out of veggies, grind nuts, or make nut butters, nut milks, baby food and sorbets.
5. Nutrient content
The point of juicing is to improve health by increasing intake of vital nutrients from the produce you want to juice. Since the process removes the pulp, the absorption of nutrients by the body becomes quicker. It allows you to consume more veggies and fruits without overwhelming your gut with so much fiber.
Different types of juicers give different results when it comes to how well they retain the nutrients of the juice. We have mentioned earlier that though centrifugal juicers are the fastest and most convenient to use overall, the oxidation that happens during juicing can cause loss of nutrients in the juice.
If better health is your main motivation for juicing, then do your research to get a clear idea of the types of vegetables you’ll want to juice regularly. Mixing in greens and high-nutrient vegetables are important. If you do find that some greens can really benefit your health, then choose at least a masticating juicer. Adding in too much fruit can spike blood sugar, and the excess sugar easily becomes fat, which leads to weight gain.
6. Speed of preparation vs. juice shelf life
You have to decide what’s more important, the shelf life of your juice or the less time and effort it takes to prepare it? Because of the low RPM process used by masticating and triturating juicers, little heat is introduced to the juice. As a result, you can store your juice in the fridge up to 48 hours without losing any nutritional value. This makes up for the time lost in the slow juicing process.
In terms of speed of preparation, a centrifugal juicer is most reliable. It does all the work faster (and it’s faster to clean, too) but you can’t store it very long. It will still taste fine when stored in the fridge for 48 hours, but it won’t be nutritionally valuable anymore. However, it’s best to use when you want your nutrients right away and then move on quickly with your day.
7. Size and cord length
Counter space is an important commodity in the kitchen. Juicers, unfortunately, may take up a lot of it. Make sure you have enough space for the juicer you want before purchasing. Make sure the cord can reach a power outlet from the space you have in mind. If you think you’ll be keeping the juicer in a cabinet, then you don’t have to worry much about counter space. You do need to consider its weight though, as you will be bringing it out and in from the cabinet.
And more importantly, the size of your juicer will affect how much juice you will be making. The size of the chute will determine how much preparation time you need to do before juicing, and the size of the container for catching the juice will indicate your limit for each juicing session. Since a juice is best consumed soon after making it, a small juicer may not be bad. However, if you’re juicing for the whole family, that’s where a bigger juicer can be more helpful.
Do noisy appliances drive you nuts? Or do you live in an area where a wall separates you and your neighbors and the last thing you want to do is to piss them off every morning with a loud juicer? The noise level is another consideration. Many centrifugal juicers can be really loud, while masticating and triturating juicers tend to be quieter. There are also juicers that are especially designed to be quiet, and it would be great to consider them if that’s an important feature for you.
It’s always better to choose juicers with a longer warranty than 1 year. If you’re spending more than $100, you’d expect the warranty to be at least two years. An extended warranty also guarantees that if the machine breaks, you don’t have to spend to have it repaired since the manufacturer has got you covered.
So have you decided on the type of juicer you need? Check out the best juicers for each type and try to consider them if you want to get serious about juicing.